Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “At the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jerome Nadal, a 16th-century Jesuit companion of St. Francis Xavier, observed this about his friend: “His divine tact enabled him with a few winning words to endear himself to everyone he met. He got to know men so well that he worked wonders with them.”
It’s interesting that, when saints graduate into marble or stained glass, a transformation can happen that leaves them looking more at home in the next world than this one. But the fact is a saint’s work begins simply. When we consider those people who seem nearest to God, do any come to mind who aren’t smiling? I think of Jesuits I live with, my parents, an aunt who’s been in a wheelchair most of her adult life: they all have a friendship with God that is evident to me by the expression I always find on their faces.
Is there a neighbor, family member or friend for whom a smile of mine could work wonders today?
—Joe Kraemer, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the California province, is studying philosophy at Fordham University.
Then I, why should not I love Thee,
Jesus, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake; not to be
Out of hell by loving Thee;
Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that Thou did me
I do love and I will love Thee:
What must I love Thee, Lord, for then?
For being my King and God. Amen.
—St Francis Xavier SJ, translated by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ